I have to admit I watch far too much television.  My formative years were influenced by the black and white programs and commercials of the fifties and sixties. We did not get a color television until after I was out of high school. (late 60's is close enough). I remember the plethora of western shows that flooded the evenings of the fifties. There were also the sugar sweet family situation comedies that reinforced the family values, and dad will make it right and all will be well plot lines. Do you remember Father Knows Best with a young Robert Young fixing all the problems of the Anderson family, just like he performed miracle healings as Dr. Marcus Welby in his later years? Yeah, this may need some explanation to the younger readers out there.

I have always wondered why Beaver and Wally shared a room when they lived in that big house. Hoss is not as big now as he was years ago when I was a kid. I had a crush on Shelly Fabares from the Donna Reed Show. Strange how one associates with a character because of age or gender. Did you do that? What about those westerns with the guns that fired more than a six-shooter should. Why did Roy and Matt get into fist fights and their hats never came off their heads? Why did they never rip their britches or tear their shirts? I know when I played cowboys I was always tearing my clothes.

What about Rawhide's Rowdy Yates? Who knew he would become such a big actor and director in his later years? I guess you have to start somewhere.

I remember seeing the same actors and actresses (they called them actresses then) in bit parts in all the westerns and other serial shows of the day. You would certainly recognize the voice of these folks before you would know their names. They always appeared in bit parts as the drifter or the bad guys in the Rifleman, Paladin, Laramie, or any number of other western shows of the time. Folks like Gene Hackman and singers like Connie Francis, Tommy Sands and Bobby Vinton made their way into bit parts of these horsehide soaps also. The music of the British Invasion of the sixties opened every home of every family on television to a visit from some member or members from a visiting band during this time. Do you remember seeing your favorite group or artist during this era? Me too.  

The commercials were more basic then.

Do you remember what LSMFT means?  Who was the spokesperson for Ipana toothpaste? What was the sponsor of the Diana Shore Show? What were Clorets? When was the last time you had those? Do you remember Viceroy and Salem cigarettes?  How many times did you see a television character, still in costume, stop and look at the camera and say "hey it's good to see you here on the set. You know, when I take a break I take, use, try etc ...." The product could have been a cigarette, beer, coke, candybar, or chewing gum. Were you influenced by their endorsement of a product and purchase that product or use their service? Did you ever save box tops or labels and mail them in and get a cheap prize for your efforts? What was the first color television show you remember watching? Sunday night had Disney and Bonanza. The peacock turning from grays to colors was amazing. Now a black and white television is an antique. Do you remember when television stations closed their day of broadcasting with the playing of the national anthem with shots of different landmarks in our country showing on the screen? Now that stations go 24/7 this part of the television experience is being missed.  Some things are better than they used to be, and some things are not.

Strange, how what used to be popular is now popular again.

Recycling is a good thing.                                                                                                     


Be Well, Gary K.

(LSMFT - Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco)